Manitoba soybeans welcome recent rain

Rains this week that brought 10 to 25 millimetres of precipitation to most of southern Manitoba should aid soybeans.

Overall the crop is looking decent, but more rain is needed to maximize yields.

“You want those August rains during the pod filling stage. Right now, we definitely need some more (rains),” said Cassandra Tkachuk, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers production specialist.

A weather system rolled across the province Aug. 8-9, dumping rain on a wide geography from Reston on the Saskatchewan border to Beausejour east of Winnipeg.

The widespread rainfall was needed because Manitoba farmers planted a record 2.3 million acres of soybeans this spring, all throughout the province.

Soybeans yielded, on average, about 41 bushels per acre in Manitoba last year, another record for the region.

Soybeans got off to a slow start this spring because of cool and dry weather in May and June.

As of the second week of August, this year’s crop is about a week behind 2016, in terms of development, Tkachuk said.

“(But) this dry, hot weather is making them move (forward) pretty quick.”

She added that more rain is needed to boost pod fill and to regulate crop development. Hot weather advances growth, but rapid development isn’t ideal.

“It slows things down, in a good way, with some of those rains,” she said. “When they (soybeans) are growing too fast, they don’t have time to properly fill.”

Saskatchewan has about 850,000 acres of soybeans this year, based on Statistics Canada estimates, which is a massive jump from 250,000 acres in 2016.

A drought and extreme heat hammered a wide array of crops this summer in parts of the province, but soybeans are doing all right in southeastern Saskatchewan.

“They are really variable … but some of the soybeans look absolutely fantastic,” said Sherri Roberts, Saskatchewan Agriculture’s regional crop specialist in Weyburn. “Northeast of Weyburn, there are some beautiful crops of soybeans.”

In 2016, the average soybean yield in Saskatchewan, using Statistics Canada data, was 32.3 bu. per acre.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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